If you're like me, you have a bunch of partial scripts lying around, things that started out as a good idea, but eventually went nowhere. I started thinking about some of mine after I read the following quote from the 2011 BAFTA Screenwriters' Lecture by Charlie Kaufman.
I wrote Being John Malkovich while I was waiting for [the next sitcom] hiring season. My idea was that I would write a script and use it to get work. I had this idea that someone finds a portal into someone's head, and I had another idea that somebody has a story about someone having an affair with a co-worker. And neither one was going anywhere, so I just decided to combine them. — Charlie Kaufman
I play Tetris obsessively with scripts, and realise that I still have nothing resembling a finished draft, because I’m still stuffing ideas in and hoping that these three things will come together to form one hybrid. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang started as a romantic comedy. Then it was a straight comedy. Then I added the detective character, and it became this dark thriller. Then I went back in time to the forties and tried to get some of these old-time detective pulp novels involved, and say everything I had to say about that. By the end it’s sort of this mishmash. It’s a pulp-style, homage, fairy-tale, retro, film-noir, comedy, “kids in the big city,” Capra-esque murder tragedy. You know, it’s everything stuffed together. For some reason, that one worked—but you can play that game forever and never get anything done. — Shane Black
If your script isn't going well, maybe think about mashing it up with another idea.
First posted: 15 October 2011